The volume of retail trade was down by 1.6% in the Euro Area, and by 1.4% in the EU28, in December 2018 compared with November 2018. However, the overall performance for the year 2018 (compared with 2017) is positive with increases in both the EU28 and Euro Area
In December 2018, when compared with November 2018, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade decreased by 1.6% in the Euro Area (EA19) and by 1.4% in the EU28, according to estimates from the Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
In November, the retail trade volume increased by 0.8% in the Euro Area and by 1.0% in the EU28. In December 2018 compared with December 2017 the calendar adjusted retail sales index increased by 0.8% in the euro area and by 1.2% in the EU28. The average retail trade for the year 2018, compared with 2017, rose by 1.4% in the Euro Area and by 2.0% in EU28.

Monthly comparison

In the Euro Area in December 2018, compared with November 2018, the volume of retail trade fell by 2.7% for non-food products and by 0.3% for food, drinks and tobacco, while it increased by 0.5% for automotive fuel. In the EU28, the retail trade volume fell by 2.6% non-food products and by 0.4% for foods, drinks and tobacco, while it increased by 0.7% for automotive fuel. Among Member States for which data is available, the largest decreases in the total retail trade volume were observed in Germany (-4.3%), Sweden (-2.5%) and Estonia (-2.0%). Increases were registered in Austria (+0.7), Portugal (+0.6%) and Ireland (+0.5%).

Annual comparison

In the Euro Area in December 2018, compared with December 2017, the volume of retail trade increased by 2.5% for automotive fuels, by 0.7% for food, drinks and tobacco and by 0.5% for non-food products. In the EU28, the retail trade volume increased by 3.3% for automotive fuel, by 1.2% for non-food products, and by 0.6% for food, drinks and tobacco. Among Member States for which data are available, the highest yearly increases in the total retail trade volume were registered in Slovenia (+11.2%), Ireland (+7.5%) and Poland (+4.9%). The largest decreases were observed in Germany (-2.2%), Malta (-1.9%) and Sweden (-1.6%).

Footwear retail trade

In the Euro Area, in December 2018, the volume of retail trade for the category Textiles, Clothing and Footwear fell by 2.5%. In the EU28, the drop of retail trade for this category was smaller, in the region of -0.9%. In the second semester of the year, the performance of this category was inconsistent, with ups and downs, month after month: regardless of the area considered (Euro Area or EU28) during the second semester retail trade of items in this category never presented a set of three consecutive months with movements in the same direction.

Geographical information

The Euro Area (EA19) includes Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. The European Union (EU28) includes the 19 countries making the Euro Area and also Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
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